USPS to Stamp out Saturday Delivery

By Rich Steeves February 06, 2013

As a kid, I always got a secret thrill from getting the mail. It wasn’t often that anything in the shiny grey box with the picture of Huckleberry Hound was for me. More often than not, it was stuff for my parents.

Once a month I got a copy of Fantastic Four as part of my subscription, and around my birthday there might be a card or a package from a distant aunt. But usually, it was nothing but junk mail and bills. But today, those have been largely replaced by spam and e-bills, as more and more of us transition activities once conducted through the mail to electronic modes.

As a result of this growing trend, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been slowly hemorrhaging money. Many have predicted the demise of “snail mail” (and you know that when an important part of our lives earns a derisive nickname, it’s the beginning of the end) for years now.

And while the postal service is not quite ready to go the way of the Pony Express, it has made an announcement that should surprise no one, though it may upset the few people who are excited to read good old-fashioned catalogs as they watch college football.

That’s right. The post office will cease Saturday delivery of mail starting in August. It will continue to deliver packages six days a week, but mail service will be trimmed back to weekdays. Mail will also be delivered to PO boxes on Saturdays, and currently, post offices that are open on Saturdays will continue their existing hours.


Image via Shutterstock

While the rise of e-mail has made letter writing mostly a quaint memory of the past, it has actually given the USPS a boost in other areas. Package deliveries have risen 14 percent since 2010, due in large part to increases in online and mobile commerce. Sites like eBay and Amazon have seen huge increases in activity, driven by mobile commerce and innovations like Amazon Coins, and that rising tide has buoyed the ships of the postal service.

By cutting back on the letter/bill/catalog axis of service, the leaner USPS can focus more on package delivery.

In fact, an ultimate goal of the USPS is to provide same-day delivery service in many urban markets. The Metro Post service brings the USPS together with an undisclosed e-commerce partner to provide delivery within a matter of hours inside certain metropolitan areas.

If successful, the new program could generate tens of millions of dollars for the struggling entity.

For now, though, it looks to trim costs by cutting out Saturday delivery. Let’s take a moment of silence for the sound of the white truck pulling up to the curb and your local carrier coming to your door with a host of mail you’d likely throw away anyhow. Some think this move is just a temporary bandage to stop the inevitable demise of the USPS, but for now, it saves money and keeps the ship afloat.

Of course, this announcement comes mere days after my own dear mother retired after 30 years in the postal service. Coincidence? Probably. But congrats anyway, mom!




Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Web Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

New York City Mayor de Blasio Makes $70 Million Commitment to Universal Broadband

By: Peter Bernstein    5/6/2015

It was no doubt a coincidence, but at the Tech Crunch Disrupt conference in New York City this week, the city's Mayor, Bill de Blasio, took a rather b…

Read More

Is a New CEO Enough for Cisco?

By: Doug Mohney    5/5/2015

After 20 years as commander-in-chief, John Chambers is moving from CEO to executive chairman. His replacement will be Charles Robbins, who joined the …

Read More

Advanced Threat Sophistication Drives Fresh Detection Methods

By: Tara Seals    5/5/2015

More sophisticated cyber-security threats are changing the threat detection landscape, and requiring companies to think differently about how they loo…

Read More

Elance-oDesk Relaunches as Upwork, Unveils New Freelance Talent Platform

By: Peter Bernstein    5/5/2015

One of the things we in the technology industries are keenly aware of and focused on goes under the generic appellation, "the changing nature of work.…

Read More

Carly Fiorina For President: Why She May Be the Best Candidate for the Job

By: Rob Enderle    5/4/2015

Let's start out by saying I was anything but a huge fan of Carly Fiorina when she was CEO of HP, but everything is relative and I've come to look at m…

Read More